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Hate to bring this up but I bet some of you have a lot of "stuff' that means next to nothing to anyone else.  What is it REALLY worth and where will it go - when you go?

Sadly, I have been the primary person involved in two estate sales during the past year in which there was a great deal of G scale - and other - trains and all the support items.

Case #1:  A father passed away with is wife and family believing he had accumulated about $70,000.00 in G scale trains. Could I find a buyer?  Well, after a week or so doing an inventory with the daughter we find that it actually retailed for about $23K - when new.  Ouch!  After a time the very best offer was $7K, or 30 + cents on the dollar, and the Mom said no way.  A year later it all still sits unused and unappreciated in the basement.  Perhaps hubby should have been more honest but still....

Case #2:  A friend is pretty sure is time is up and the family knows it as well.  He tells his daughter that I am to sell it off for "what ever I can get" as soon as possible if things turn sour.  His G scale things bring in a little over $2000.00 with in a week and it's all sold in a month at about 38 cents on the dollar.  His HO items bring in $1500.00 right away and there are bids (eBay) on the rest that amount to another $1500.00.  By the 1st of April it will all be cleaned up and the family can move on.

Curious.  What are your plans?  Where does it all go?  Dose your family REALLY know what it's all worth?  Is there a trusted agent/friend to take care of it all?  Perhaps your planning on getting rid of it yourself.  Can you?

Me?  I haven't the faintest idea.  I've thought about it but I don't like the options.  No one in the family has any idea what to do with it all and I don't like having stringers tearing it apart and taking it all away.  That's really silly eh? :confused:

Comments.

Dave
 
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good question.

i think, my layout will just stay where it is, and the (future) grandchildren can play with it, when they visit my widow.

since we built house and shop allready under the point of view, that my wife will be able to have an income after my death, the probability, that she might move, is not very big.
 

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I see a regular procession of estate sales of deceased train collectors on EBAY. A fair chunk of the time, it looks like the sellers in these auctions have no real clue about what they are selling - asking prices way high or low, confusion as to the scale, unclear about the type/manufacturer of the equipment, ect.

Unfortunately, I can see that being the fate of my train collection as well, though it is not all that large as such goes. I have hung on to a lot of the original boxes and intend to make up a price list so that who-ever goes through my stuff will at least have a guide to go by. I'd really like for it to be kept more or less intact so it could be appreciated by others, but that doesn't seem overly likely.

Hopefully, it won't be an issue for many a year.
 

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To me this is where being a member of a model railway club is extremely helpful. In our local group in the UK where we indulge in all sorts of train interests, O standard gauge, O narrow gauge, G1, 15mm and 16mm garden railways etc, we had a member pass away fairly recently. His widow approached us as friends of her husband with some knowledge of model railways. We were able to advise her on the realistic values of his models, tools, materials, books etc and offered to arrange to sell these items for her as and when she decides to do so. By this method we hope she can realise a fair price from people who were close to her husband and therefore have her interests at heart.   
 

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I echo the thought that Tim put forward.

Last summer, one of the OVGRS members was given only a short time to live in his battle with cancer. He made up a listing of all his equipment with what I thought were very fair prices. His entire inventory was sold to OVGRS members in less than a month and I would guess he received about 40% on the dollar of new gear. I am sure he did better with local sales than he would have on Ebay or with a dealer and he paid no fees for selling.

Although I hope to be around a few years yet, I have disposed of all my HO that I am not actively running. For regular run of the mill items, lucky to get 15-20% but for anything unusual (a Kadee spiker?) or specialized (FSM building kits?) or for really interesting brass (an Overland sanding tower?) the returns were actually many times the original buying price. Leaving stuff like this to be disposed of by your family is not a very realistic way to help them maximize the returns for their future.

A bit of planning goes a long way in this area ...

Regards ... Doug
 

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My other thought here goes along with other threads on inventorying and insuring your trains. If you've got a decent detailed list with prices paid and estmated worth at time of inventory (say annually) then disposing can be a little easier but please do be honest with the family that less than half for most of the items is generally an average selling price no matter how it is sold.

I sold off most all of my RC cars and boats several years ago and while I got some good prices most I took a loss on.

I'd agree with the club thing but some folks are simply out to "get your stuff" at bargain prices too. It's sad but there it is.

Chas
 

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I think you have to count train money as spent, not invested.

I think estate sale stuff is often dumped on the market. Better to find somebody who knows what it is, like you, to sell it, but even then, it would take lots of time and effort to get reasonable prices and I think each item would have to be priced, advertised and sold.

Kindof a sad state, but I don't think there's much you can do about it.
 

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Selling something second hand is not usually a problem if the person is realistic about the price. I worked for ten years dealing with people with problematic moving and storage claims. Most of the time it involved people who were unrealistic about the price of used goods. They didn’t intend to replace the goods, so the cash settlement was based on the market value of the goods. They interpreted market value as the replacement cost, but I had the tough job of explaining to them that meant garage sale prices for used household goods.
 
This winter I have been selling off a lot of my model railway equipment that I no longer used. As I knew the number of buyers locally would be limited, I kept my prices low. Many of the items never made it out of the basement, as my On30 crew had first crack at things. The rest were sold through an E-mail to other club members and at a local model train flea market. I would prefer that members of my own club get the benefit of my fire sale rather some stranger on E-Buy. With the money I bought a new CN GP-40 and still have some left over for other new toys.
 
 
 

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Its a long way off for me, too.  

But , I kind of hope that Luke or one of my nephews or nieces will take up an interest in trains, so I can just pass the whole collection along.  I haven't had much turnover in my gathering of trains (none are really collectable). 

I find that selling at 50% of the current retail price for most items works well.  The buyer feels they get a deal and I get some space in my house.  That's why I run all my trains.  If I have to sell something, I at least have gotten some play value out of them. 

This gives me a good idea.

We have a yard sale every summer in the neighborhood.  Maybe this year, I will sell some trains.  In the past,  it has been no trains, but other stuff only.  The only difficulty I see is that we usually put all the proceeds of the sale in a family pot and use the $$ to pay for dinner one night on our family vacation.  It'd be kind of hard to separate out train money when I don't pay for anything on that trip but one meal. 

Mark
 

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This is why I try to keep my train investments on the cheap side, cause I know its all worth peanuts in the end.

I've seen a lot of estate sales on ebay and the only things that bring in any real cash are the rolling stock, track and some structures, large expansive layouts, particularly indoor layouts should be built as cheeply as possible because it will all eventually be torn out, many long time modelers have built 3 or 4 or more layouts over their lives, and seam to intrinsicly know that what gets built, get torn out, something about Buddism and impermanance.

If I know I'm going and had some time, I would give away a couple peices, ebay the rest, cars, engines, buildings, and track, if not so much for the cash, but so the wifeypoo wouldnt have to hastle with it after I was gone, same for my bikes, books, and other crap that she doesnt care for. Just seams the right thing to do. If it was sudden, well it wouldnt matter what I wanted now would it? I'd be too busy , how does that song say it, "Push them little daisies and make them grow up"

I figure the wife would eventually sell the stuff off on ebay, toss some of it, and trash the layout, which is what I would in the same shoes.
 

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Thats what WILL's are for i'm into trains wife calls me (trains on the brains) and also into salt water aquariums. Its a joke around our house but she says she's going to bury me with a headstone that says "trains on the brains" and going to cremate me and put the ashes into an aquarium to bury me in. So i put in a request that she also puts my favorite engine in the aquarium with me, and also lays a small circle of track on the top of the grave with a train running (glass enclosed of course) just incase there is an afterlife!!!!!!!!"Cover all the basis"  http://blueregal.angelfire.com/
 

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I told my ex-wife years ago who to call to help unload most of my junk to help get her the best price. One fellow for the steam stuff, one for the tools, etc, and yet another for the toy trains. Probably should write it down.

One of my suppliers makes castings for a model gasoline engine. He says that it states in his will that the patterns and matchplates are to be buried with him

To me the saddest thing is when the family fights over who gets what, not because they want it, or because it has memories of the deceased attached, but because they think it's worth a buck, or just to spite the others. The second saddest is when the vultures descend and try to screw the widow out of a fair price.
 

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I take the same basic attitude as Tom Ruby.  I view the money I spend on trains as money consumed for amusement such as going to the movies or eating out.  I do have some models which were quite expensive and I hope that my daughters can get something for them; but, I will have gotten my money's worth in enjoyment from them while still alive.

Llyn
 

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"One of my suppliers makes castings for a model gasoline engine. He says that it states in his will that the patterns and matchplates are to be buried with him "

That's sad.
 

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This is something that a friend of mine who has a number of colletions including HO trains has been considering. He has talked to a number of his friends who share his interests and asked them if he could count on them to take of his particular collection of "this or that" when ever something happens to him. If these people say yes then he writes down thier phone number and the particular collection that they are responsible for and adds it to his will. They then are basically the executor of that part of his leavings. The object is to have someone involved that knows the items in question and how best to liquidate them at a reasonable price in the best interest of the family left behind. He also keeps a VERY up to date inventory of everything he has and that is in a saftey deposit box at the bank as well as one on hand at home.

Sadly something all of us need to consider since we CAN'T take it with us...
 

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I really don't care what she does with the trains....I would only hope that she gets  enough money to enjoy herself as she has really been a trouper putting up with my lost weekends in my basement and missed trips due to me buying trains...she has really earned what ever she does with them...I only hope that she keeps my favorite train for at least a little while she ajusts to me being gone!

My better half is just that my better half!  I will be OK whit what ever she disides!

Bubba
 

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Posted By sbaxters4 on 03/27/2008 11:43 AM
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Sadly something all of us need to consider since we CAN'T take it with us...


Au Contraire! 

It is in my Last Will and Testament that a particular one of my Dolls goes in the casket with me and I take her (it) with me or the family gets NOTHING!  (She is one of the smaller ones and won't crowd me too much.)  They can do what the please with the rest of my junque... I know, personally, I'd just call the city dump to send a truck and pay the dump fees.

As for the fellow that is to have his matchplates and patterns buried with him, that's good for those that purchased his work as collectibles, as they should then increase in value, but bad for the rest of the world as we could have increased the quantity of usable material for the "user" as opposed to the "collector".
 

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My wife says she's getting rid of the trains, hi-fi (anything with a remote control,) cars and boats when I'm gone, and she doesn't care what they are worth.

I did tell her to call one of my pals for help selling the live steamers that cost me her $3,000 each!
 

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Pete im thinking we could have the same wife!!  lol :cool:just remember me when your dont want your live steamers anymore ok????? lol
 
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